If your reading this post, I would imagine you have an interest in programming, and you would probably agree with me that it is one of the few skills that we can teach kids that is "future proof." It doesn't take much to find all the open positions that currently go unfilled, and it doesn't take much to see that those numbers are just going to grow unless we do something about it. The issue is how do we teach it?
It might be a bit easier to teach if every teacher had a programming background, but that's just not the case. We are a long way off from any era that looks like that, and in the end, we may not ever get there. So, what do we do? We need to teach computer science, but we only have a precious few teachers who actually know how to do that.
There are tons of companies out there that are trying to change that, but many make a critical mistake. Many companies have computer science experts build their platform, and they create it for what they needed. They don't think of the student, and they especially don't think of the teacher. The platform should be centered on students and teacher first, and if it's not it just plain won't stick.
You have to have a platform with a user experience that makes sense for both teachers and students. I think that's what Tynker does exceptionally well. It's incredibly easy for students to get straight on the platform and know immediately what to do, but the best part is that it is also that way for teachers.
From the student side, I have seen more coding interfaces then I can count, and the thing that drives me craziest is the number of clicks it takes for students to find what they need. The idea that comes in second is the number of platforms that throw students into the deep end and end up like Nike by saying "Just do it." Tynker doesn't do that. As kids start learning the platform, they are greeted by a command box where they can see all the commands. The clicks are incredibly limited. They also have tutorials and lessons for almost anything a student wants to do. Kids can then remix those projects, or they can take what they learned and make something new. The best part is they can do this starting at kindergarten and stay on the same platform all the way through 12th grade, and that's all while using whatever device they have.
Where Tynker really excels though is with teachers. Coding and computer science should not be a just sometimes thing, but for it to go wide it has to be easy to start, and it has to drive towards curriculum goals. Tynker is the only platform that does that. Tynker has an interface that makes it easy to pick lessons, assign, and give feedback on that student work. My favorite part is that it is also incredibly easy to show them off and get peer feedback. The best part though is that this can easily be a platform to let kids create for content. There are tons of lessons in Math, Science, Social Studies, and ELA already built into the platform, but you can always make your own to connect it to almost any topic you want. Everything is created with the teacher in mind, and you just can't find that elsewhere.
Coding is like a world language. The earlier you start, the better off you will be. It also can get you to the ideal in the classroom: teaching content while also teaching a "future proof skill." If your interested in learning more, just fill out the form HERE.